Daniel C. MacFarlane's June 26, 1896 affidavit concerning the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Jun 26, 1896
Daniel C. MacFarlane
Scribed Verbatim

Affidavit of Daniel S. McFarlane, June 26, 1896, Collected material concerning the Mountain Meadows Massacre, 1859-1961, MS 2674, Church History Library

Isaac Higbee, Daniel C. MacFarlane, Philip Klingensmith, William H. Dame
General Public

I, Daniel S. Macfarlane, deeming it my duty to correct some of the errors, which are circulated and being enlarged upon by evil designing men, regarding the unfortunate circumstance which happened in the year 1857. So I now take this opportunity of making a statement from my own observation concerning that sad affair, which for the sake of the living as well as the dead should be corrected and if possible forgotten. There are some merciful men that volunteered to go out there and bury the dead; for John D. Lee had sent an express from the Mt. Meadows to Cedar City, stating that the Indians had killed all the Immigrants Co. and asking for volunteers to come out and help bury the dead. I was one of the Co. of volunteers, who went on the humane errand. When we reached “the meadows” the Indians were still fighting the Imigrants.

About this time Lee got an express from Col. Wm. H. Dame telling him to treat the Indians in some way and let the Immigrants go and the natives take part of their stock and go to their homes. When we came to where Lee was, he and Klingon Smith were talking to some of the chiefs who seemed very much excited. Quite a number were present and heard what I did, but I have forgotten who they were, only they were those that volunteered to bury the dead.

Higbee asked Lee what the Indians were saying. He answered, “They say—I Lee told them we were at war with the Mericats, and you sent for all of us to come and bring our warriors and help you fight them, and now you want us to take part of their stock and go home and let them go and you know some of our men have been shot and my warriors are made and their blood is up.”

“Some of you want to take their part. We will fight you as well as them if you don’t help us to get them out of their Fort.”

Lee said further that himself and Klingon Smith had talked toe matter over and come to the conclusion, under the circumstances that we had to make our appearance of helping them or we must fight them and the latter we cannot think of doing.

John M. Higbee said “Is there no way that the women and children can be saved?” Lee said, “The Indians agreed not to molest the women and children if he (Lee) would get the men out so they could get at them.” Then Higbee said, “is there no way to satisfy the Indians and save the Immigrants.” Klingon Smith said, “No we have go to do as Lee says.” Then Lee spoke up in an important slurring manner and said, “If any of you are too big cowards to appear to help the Indians you need not shoot nor anything else. Only form a line, single file and march down o where I will call a truce and get the men out of their Fort and I will send the women and children ahead. The Indians will let them past half a mile or more, then the Indians will rush past you when the signal is given and take the men.” Lee then said to Higbee and Klingon Smith, “You will see that my orders are strictly obeyed.” So the line was formed and marched down to the road and up as directed. After women and children had passed a half mile or more. Then Klingon Smith gave the word “Halt” signal agreed upon by Lee and Smith. When Klingon Smith fired his gun, our men dropped to the ground. Then Indians rushed past them yelling and like a tornado, they pounced upon their helpless victors [sic] and all was over in a few minutes, and still as death, and not till then did we realize that treachery had been practice when only a few small children had been saved.

No one knew of the treachery before hand unless Lee and Smith. Perhaps they did not as Lee said it was the young bucks and the old ones could not stop them.

I always felt it was a base insult thrown at Higbee and volunteers by Lee and uncalled for at the time.

When Higbee asked Lee if there was no other way to doge the issue and he (Lee) said or used the word “Cowards” as thru brute force he would brow beat us all. For we all felt as Higbee and expressed himself to avoid such a result and being also deceived in the object for which we consented to go to the “meadows.”

I am willing and I think it is my duty to swear to the facts mentioned above when and where I can do any good for humanity’s sake. I know there are others who heard and felt as I did, but I cannot remember their names, all of which I do solemnly declare to be the truth. “So help me God.”

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